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When Chief Medical Officer Andy Whittemore, MD, joined BWH in 1976 as a vascular surgery fellow, one of the biggest perks was the ample parking available.
“Everyone had their own spot on Shattuck Street marked by a placard with their name on it,” said Whittemore, who came to the Peter Bent Brigham from a New York hospital where parking was scarce.
At that time, there were tennis and handball courts for staff, along with Brigham Green, a grassy area outside 15 Francis St.
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These historical tidbits and personal recollections provided a look into the hospital’s past at last week’s Archives Lecture, sponsored by the Medical Library. Bob Raymond, senior architect and planner, walked guests through the building of BWH and how it has changed over the years, and longtime BWHers Whittemore and Charles “Biff” Eschback, supervisor of Engineering, chimed in with personal stories.
Many who attended the lecture shared in the reminiscing. When the Tower opened in 1980, for example, physicians who helped move patients in were left with one major question that night.
“Where are we supposed to sleep?” asked David Sugarbaker, MD, now chief of Thoracic Surgery who was a Surgery resident at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in 1980. “There were on-call rooms at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital for us to sleep in, but we couldn’t find any in the Tower.”
Guests recalled how the number of tennis courts dwindled as the hospital expanded and needed more space for patient care, research and offices. The presentation concluded with a video of the moving of six houses on Francis Street in 2001 to allow for construction of the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center, which opened this year.
After the presentation, Eschback shared his collection of BWH Bulletins gathered throughout the years.